How To Make Lifestyle Changes That Last

A few years ago I wanted to start running. My company paid for the entry fee for a local run. I was playing hockey and was otherwise active and thought it’d be fun experience. I also thought it would be incredibly easy.

I started out running two miles at a time a few weeks before the race. Then two weeks before the race I developed a pain in my knee. No big deal. I kept going. Then shin splints set in and I needed to stop. I’d overdone it and missed the race. I am still not running regularly.

We all have grand plans for our lives. But once we start to change anything it can be nearly impossible to make it stick. Every try to write every day, diet, or exercise? But why is change so hard?

Photo Credit: rosswebsdale via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: rosswebsdale via Compfight cc

One reason, according to the American Psychological Society, is that we start too big. We want to run two miles a day, like I did. Or we want to be a published author, tomorrow.

But, the path to sustainable change starts small.

We should strive to write 100 words a day not 2000. Run a half a mile first, then a mile. We all want change to happen immediately and permanently and we get discouraged and stop trying altogether when we fail.

If you want to change anything start with a small goal and then take it up a notch from there.

I need to start exercising regularly. What do you need to change?

8 thoughts on “How To Make Lifestyle Changes That Last

  1. I starred running about the same time as you and now have two marathons under my belt, with more to come. Now, if I can just have that same kind of luck in getting my book published I’ll be just fine.

    Don’t give up on the running; just stretch properly and look after those knees.

    1. Thanks! I ran a 10K earlier this year and was happy with my time. But have run about a mile in two months. I have another run (warrior dash) coming up in two weeks.
      I think the hardest part is that I have three kids 5 and under and one due in November so I always give them time over my health and my books, speaking, and other writing. I need balance it somehow, but I need to sleep too 🙂
      I’d love to run a marathon someday. Any websites you suggest that offer tips? Or do you have any you can share?

      1. I feel what you are saying about kids, writing, etc. Although, I find a run is a great way to clear that out of my head for a while and recharge my brainspace.

        I got all of my running advice from other runners at a club I joined, so I guess that would be my best advice for you. Go out on some socials run with a local club.

        Best of luck getting back out there and staying injury-free.

  2. Agreed. Someone once told me that if I want change–permanent change–I should do things small so that I can continue with it. Once this small step becomes second nature, add a bit in bite-sized increments, or more if I am comfortable sustaining it. That way you keep moving forward, and you keep growing. My weakness used to be that I would go for broke, but then run out of steam halfway to whatever goal I was aiming for.

  3. I am still working out the go for broke vs small deliberate steps but the blog over the last month has helped!

    I’ve noticed if I am disciplined in one area of my life that it bleeds into other areas. Just trying my best to be faithful and consistent.

  4. Pingback: My Writing Update | Part-Time Novel

  5. Pingback: How Small Things Can Make A Huge Impact | Part-Time Novel

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